Probably, the greatest illusion of all is the belief that man can outsmart nature, or more precisely, outsmart God. Maybe this illusion is really more of a delusion, but it sure is popular. The most obvious example of this, is in our understanding of our own bodies. Weight loss products, nutritional supplements and medications will be found in almost every home in the developed world. Billions and billions of dollars are generated, and yet, we are fat, stressed, tired, depressed and constipated. Indigestion, adult onset diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, hyperglycaemia, hormonal imbalances, headaches, yeast infections, impotence and allergies are just a few of the maladies which are caused by, or maintained by, bad food choices.
We just refuse to believe that food can be an answer to health. We are oh so intelligent and sophisticated, that we want scientific explanations before we will even consider such a pre-historic idea, as eating plant matter. If you tell an obese person to eat less food, and someone else offers them an appetite suppressant, then nine times out of ten, they will opt for the pill. A constipated person will avoid eating fibre, but is happy to take a laxative. We spend more on vitamin supplements than we do on fruit and vegetables. We would be horrified to see someone pour fat down the kitchen sink, but think nothing of filling our arteries with it. Our kids are bouncing off walls from the sugar they eat, but we still insist on referring to it as a treat and use it as a reward.
Food is probably the easiest thing in the world to figure out. Eat when you are hungry, eat as much, but not more, than you need, and eat foods as close to their natural state as possible.
Water also seems to be becoming an optional extra, and more and more people are treating it like it has become redundant. Many people have exchanged water for more popular man made alternatives, such as tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol which greatly compromise health and vitality. Even worse than this is the trend of almost avoiding liquid in any form. Dehydration is another cause of many health problems and still people cannot connect the dots.
Light, as in sunlight, greatly influences the brain, particularly in relation to our moods and general well being, as well as being a source of vitamins and a cancer prevention agent. Many people in todayís world live exclusively under artificial light, and no longer know the difference between night and day. Not only are they missing out on the health giving aspects of natural sunlight, but they may well be doing a great deal of harm by being exposed to artificial light. We may be questioning such things as radiation from microwaves, phones, computers and most electrical appliances, and yet we still insist on living within this sea of radiation, and completely neglecting the health giving rays of the sun.
Air has also become an old fashioned concept, or at least a trivialized or underrated force of life. We live and work in buildings without opening windows, and rarely venture outdoors, constantly breathing in what others have breathed out, and marvelling at manipulating the seasons. Rarely, do we stop and allow our bodies to fill up on life giving oxygen, and even our idea of exercise is now restricted to an air-conditioned gym.
Exercise, and indeed basic body movement, has also become superseded. Our bodies are screaming out in a language of aches, pains and stiffness. Our immune systems are compromised and our muscles are atrophied. Circulation is greatly impeded and our energy levels are plummeting down so far, that itís hard to tell if we are awake or asleep. We now use our fingers to do almost everything we used to use our entire bodies to do. Our bums are spreading across our sofas, our joints are becoming calcified and our hands are becoming deformed with R.S.I. but still we look to the medicine chest for our answers.
Noise is also just another accepted fact of life. We wake up and switch on the radio, spend the day surrounded by noise, and come home and turn on the music or t.v. Occasionally, we head off to somewhere quiet for a holiday and find ourselves wondering what that strange sound is, only to realize that it is silence. Not only do we function within an external cacophony, but we very rarely allow our own minds to be silent. Consistent noise can be another stress factor, but most of us are so accustomed to it, that we rarely even notice it anymore. When noise is particularly loud or unpleasant, we can feel quite shattered by it. Jack hammers, barking dogs, bad music and partying neighbours can send us into a screaming rage, as they are noticeably stressful.
Even sex has been reinvented, and once again a highly marketable commodity; a vicarious sport or entertainment for many, and to some very large degree, a form of barter in a commercial world. The very thing, which should connect people, has been reduced to just another product or service. In a myriad of opinions and confusion, we torment ourselves with shame, guilt, embarrassment and comparisons. We allow ourselves to be treated as objects and treat each other that way. We will even acknowledge that sex can be a form of violence, and accept that sexual partners are nothing more than disposable toys. People will often feel quite self-conscious about even discussing sex as a loving experience, and more often than not, find that dirty jokes and double meanings are more socially acceptable.